Eels are neutral mobs that spawn in warm watery biomes.
Eels come in 2 different types. The first type is a smaller, flatter freshwater eel, which comes in 2 different variants:
- A brown variant with a light brown underside and a large tail fin (based on the New Zealand longfin eel).
- A green variant with dark green stripes and a light grey underside (based on the European eel).
The second type is a larger, thinner saltwater eel, which comes in 5 different variants:
- A dark green variant with brighter green head and tail fin, black eyes, and a noticeable lack of arm fins (based on the green moray eel).
- A grey variant with black eyes, a blue dorsal side, yellow stripes running down its sides, yellow arm fins with blue tips, and a white underside (based on the European conger eel).
- A red variant with black eyes, white spots all over its body and a noticeable lack of arm fins (based on the dragon moray eel).
- A blue variant with a yellow head and upper tail fin, a black lower tail fin and eyes, a pair of leaf-like protrusions on the tip of its snout, and a noticeable lack of arm fins (based on the ribbon eel).
- A white variant with yellow eyes, a black-banded body with yellow spots, and a noticeable lack of arm fins (based on the snowflake moray eel).
Eels will usually not attack players and, when undisturbed, will swim around aimlessly in a similar manner to fish. However, if a player holds out food near them, they will start swimming towards them and dealing 1.25 hearts (2.5 HP) of damage on contact, and will continue to attack until the player eats their food, puts it away, kills them, dies, or runs away; saltwater eels will also attack the player when provoked, and cannot be distracted with food when attacking foes. In addition to this, they will seek out nearby food items dropped into the water before eating them.
Eels can be caught by using a water bucket on them; when this bucket is used on a block, it immediately empties, placing a source of water with the eel inside of it.
If an eel gets beached on land, it will start suffocating after 20 seconds. While on land, eels will flop around erratically in an attempt to get back into the water.